Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Late Night Horror Hosts

The Creature from the Black Lagoon
was my introduction to scary movies. Friday and Saturday nights were big nights for my brother and me. He'd stay up long past bedtime to watch the late-night horror movie. I'd stay up because I wanted to do everything he did. I'd tail him to the living room and force my company on him. I don't know if he allowed me to watch because he was scared, or because he thought I'd tell on him if he made me go to bed. Which would have backfired, he would have ended up being sent to bed, too, since he wasn't supposed to be up either. 

I wish I could remember who that first horror host was, but I was about five or six at the time. I only remember the host was awesome: Weird. Awesome. (In a stupid kinda way.) But as a kid, stupid worked. In the end, those weekends were fun because, by staying up, we were doing something we weren't supposed to -- and we weren't getting caught. We were scaring ourselves silly, which is always fun, and we were living through something that, even at the time, we knew was really special.

I still like those old B movies that we watched on weekends. They've stood the test of time, but I don't think those movies would have so much meaning for me now if not for my brother and the horror hosts -- and the connection I felt with them. They made watching the movie, no matter how bad, an event. So, hat's off to you, my old friends. You made scary fun. And being scared is important. People like to be scared in a safe environment. We learn that we can come through something scary and still survive. We can still be okay. It's an important lesson. 

I bring this up because I just had another promo done for Spiders, and it utilizes The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It's at the top of this post. It turned out differently than I'd negotiated, and I'm a little disappointed with it. It doesn't make sense. The message was supposed to be on a billboard on the back of the creature, but that's not the way it was done, and the way it was done isn't effective. It might have worked if a speech bubble had been used. I enjoy watching it for my own pleasure, though. It takes me back to those late nights with my brother when we would watch scary movies and eat burnt popcorn.

Did you ever watch any horror hosts when you were a kid? If you're not familiar with horror hosts, there are several clips at YouTube. Also, if you have NetFlix, they have an interesting documentary on horror hosts entitled, "American Scary."


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I did, but I don't remember any of their names. I think the Sunday Creature Feature was my favorite - lots of Godzilla movies - but it didn't have a host.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Alex, I remember the Sunday Creature Feature. And I loved Godzilla movies. Pat and I watched every single one of those.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Yep, my sisters and brother and I used to stay up to watch Creature Features, and I think there was a Friday Night Frights or something like that too. We'd all huddle together under a blanket and eat ice cream while we watched all those old black and white movies. :)

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi L.G., I know those are fond memories. Those hosts created great memories for a whole generation of kids in the States.

Paul Tobin said...

Hi. I like those old movies, I saw the black lagoon in 3d in the 80s. I like the way you have used it. The original Thing from another world is my favourite.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Hi Paul, nice to hear from you again. I loved the original Thing. James Arness made a great monster. Glad you liked the way I used the creature... still wish the billboard had been used, or at least a speech bubble.